Ryan Lowe outlines Preston North End’s transfer stance over young duo

PNE will look to get their young players out on loan before the transfer window closes
Preston North End's Mikey O'NeillPreston North End's Mikey O'Neill
Preston North End's Mikey O'Neill

Preston North End will look to get Mikey O’Neill back out on loan, but plans to get Josh Seary a move have been put on hold says manager Ryan Lowe.

O’Neill featured sporadically in the Lilywhites’ pre-season and was not involved in Tuesday’s reserve team fixture against Bolton Wanderers. The forward was the first youngster to break on to the scene under Lowe, with him making his first team debut towards the end of the 2021/22 season.

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Limited minutes came O’Neill’s way last season though and in January, he was loaned out to League Two side Grimsby Town. The attacker, who is under contract at PNE until 2024, played 11 games for the Mariners without scoring. Lowe now feels another loan move is essential for the player.

“He took a whack on Monday, which is why he wasn’t involved in the game on Tuesday,” said Lowe. “We are looking to try and get Mikey a loan. It is over to his representatives to sort that out, but the teams they have come up with are not acceptable for me to send one of our young prospects to. He needs to go to League Two, or maybe Conference, minimum.

“We feel, for Mikey to push on with us, or someone else - I am not sitting here saying his career at Preston North End is over, because it’s far from that. But, he has got to go somewhere and produce, do the right things and score some goals.

“It is over to his representatives to get that loan move for him and once they do, and it’s the right fit, then we will agree on something that’s best for him. And if he can go somewhere and rip it up, then he’s still our player and we know we can trust him. We know he’s got to go somewhere and play some games soon, so yeah, we’re just waiting for the phone to ring.”

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Meanwhile, full-back Seary was involved against Bolton Wanderers reserves and scored two smartly taken second half goals. With on loan right back Calvin Ramsay out injured for six to eight weeks, the plan for Seary to secure a temporary move has taken a back seat.

“Josh has done fantastically well,” said Lowe. “Scoring two goals the other day, I listened to his interview afterwards and he said he doesn’t score many goals. Well, if you want to play in my team, you have to score goals - and he actually said the other week that he scored for the youth team. I told him he needs to keep scoring those goals, because that’s what we want from the wing-backs. He’d been unlucky Josh.

“He started against Salford and did well, then the last couple of games he’s been the spare man and just missed out. We felt, if anyone could go out there, then Browney could do it, but that Pottsy shouldn’t really need another one. He has definitely put himself in the picture for Saturday, because anyone who scores goals from those positions are obviously key, and you could need them.

“All the lads who’ve been around the first team won’t be going out on loan just yet, until we’ve got our bodies in the building. And if we don’t, or we only get one, then I’m happy to keep them all with us - because sometimes they are better being coached by us than out somewhere else, not playing many games.”